tv MSNBC Live MSNBC October 1, 2012 11:00am-12:00pm EDT
romney campaign is in now. but you can out-debate him. >> we go to kristen welker traveling with the president. we know that the president often has a pretty long day, long hours. news conferences. but how is the president trying to sharpen his message prior to wednesday? >> good morning, tom. i can tell you that's really one of the main goals of this debate camp here in nevada. the obama campaign trying to get the president to give shorter, sharper answers in part so that he can get all of this key points now. they say the president tends to be professorial sometimes. that's what they want to avoid. they want to give direct and crisp answers. also to avoid potentially looking condescending. that's one of the big things they're worried about here. so far president obama has had four mock debates with senator john kerry who is of course no
stranger to presidential debates. he also i can tell you had one more practice session last night after president obama had a campaign event in las vegas. now, as you pointed out, both sides are really trying to tamper down expectations. lavishing praise on the other candidate. that is because there's so much at stake in these debates really for most candidates. mitt romney tried to turn his campaign around, but president obama trying to hold on to the narrow lead you mentioned in your introduction. really trying to tamp down expectations. should also point out that president obama holding his debate camp right here in nevada which is a key swing state. one of the states he's hoping to win in november. he has a small lead in this state according to the abc wall street journal poll. he's trying to garner excitement by holding his debate camp here. he had a campaign event last night in las vegas. campaign officials tell me we shouldn't be surprised to see him shake a few hands over the next few days to garner more
excitement as we get closer to wednesday. >> as you speak of excitement, we understand bill clinton is going to be stumping in new hampshire on the day of the debate. there was an article called the clinton crutch. is the campaign liking that idea it's being called the clinton crutch. that he needs someone like clinton to bring that excitement you talk about? >> well, i don't think they would use the term crutch, but they wouldn't deny he is a huge part of this campaign. of course president obama got a bump after the convention. some folks called it the clinton bounce. he certainly did generate a lot of excitement at the dnc you see former president clinton appearing in ads for president obama. and president obama constantly referencing him in the campaign trail. and also americans like bill clinton. if you look at the fairvelt ratings, they're higher than the first lady's.
>> kristen welker traveling with the president in nevada. that's a state we're going to dig deeper into in this hour. thanks again. we jump now to our monday morning power panel. we've got political analyst and columnist karen finney, alice, and perry bacon, msnbc contributor and political editor. thanks to all three of you being here. alice, i want to start with you. as we played off the top of the hour, governor chris christie repeating those comments. kind of raising the stakes for mitt romney three times specifically with david gregory on meet the press alone. do you think that he is doing mitt romney the nominee any favors predicting that he needs to seize that moment and pull momentum out of wednesday's debates to continue? >> well, certainly it's in his best interest to seize the moment. but the truth is we all know that president obama has a -- is a great orator and has a benit of having participated in
presidential debates whereas mitt romney has not had that opportunity. it's incumbent on both of them to get their message out. but the key for governor romney is go out there and be respectful and be strong and make sure that the truth gets out there. he's going to get out there and show he has a choice. we have a choice between a president with a record who promotes government dependency as opposed to romney who will help upward mobility for this country. that's a choice the american people want to make and they will make an informed choice based on the facts getting out there. >> you don't think it helped mitt romney had the primary to go through going up against your former bosses in those debates? >> those are certainly helpful. but when you have obviously more than one person you're going against, it's rather difficult. but the good thing as we saw in '08, what he was good with the
mccain/obama debates, he let them go face to face. i expect to see that wednesday night. that's good. get the two of them in there debating the issues. make sure each of them are factually accurate about their records. focusing on the economy wednesday night. but foreign policy is something that's critically important given the current state of foreign policy where we have a leader now whose foreign policy has made us weak in the eye of the rest of the world whereas governor romney believe in peace through strength. >> all right. let's talk about the expectations here, karen. the game from both sides has kicked into high gear over the weekend. i want to remind everybody. take a listen. >> president obama's a very, he's a very gifted speaker. he's an experienced debater. he's done these kinds of debates before. this is mitt's first time on this kind of a stage. >> we'd expected all along governor romney will have a good night. he's prepared more than any
other candidate in history. >> and i think for us to raise the expectations, he's got to do something spectacular. those things don't happen in debates anymore that there's a spectacular event or gaffe. they're too well rehearsed. >> in this week's debate president obama has a great deal to lose. romney's is the most difficult position. obama's is the most dangerous. does the president here, karen, have more to lose than mitt romney? i mean, obviously the polls show that he's ahead. >> i think we're so focused on comparing it to each other. i think we need to be focused on is what kind of performance does each man need to have? i do think that the fact that -- remember, president obama was not good at debates during the last cycle. he got better throughout the course of the debates. so did mitt romney. seeing what performances are like, i think the stakes are very high for both men. that's not his problem.
his problem is that he is able to have one good day, not two good days. he needs to have a solid wednesday and be solid thursday, friday. otherwise it looks like another fluke. you prepared for one performance but your campaign is in disarray. you don't have answers to questions. you can't give details to policies. but you're making big promises. that's not going to work for governor romney. even if he has a good performance. i think with president obama, the challenge for him to, again, short answers kwb to the point. stay personable as we've seen him on the campaign trail. and call romney out on all the untruths, i'll say that kindly, that we've heard on the campaign trail. >> the one thing, perry, as karen talks about the romney campaign may have taken one step forward then two steps back at times. october certainly needs to be a stronger month than the last three months we've seen out of that campaign. the romney campaign, the people for them say they've been
working on his zingers. so that he can come off with some quick punches on that stage. is romney, though, in that better position to come off as a challenger and the underdog because of the way his campaign has gone so far. >> well, he's going to be -- he's got to overperform. that said, when the president is ahead, the president has a substantial lead right now. romney has to get people to change their minds from president obama. so it's not just about having the zinger. it's about really changing people's minds. it's very difficult. when you look back the last 40 years, very rarely does one candidate go into debates losing then come back to lead. that's challenging. one thing to watch also is in the interview show with paul ryan, paul ryan was asked how does your budget plan add up? he says i'm not really sure i have time to explain that right now. you better believe they will press romney about it on wednesday. that's the kind of thing they
have to avoid. >> karen, as alice brought up, foreign policy. that being a hot topic issue in the headlines and also for very good reason. americans want to know what president obama's foreign policy is going for. because of situations that seem to be forever in the lexicon of our conversation. certainly in afghanistan with what we've seen happening there. so karen, with that being said, can the president sharpen what he wants to say knowing that's going to be a vulnerable spot for him. mitt romney wants to prove that americans go through strength. and president obama may not have that philosophy. >> peace through strength is a nice slogan, but the president has unfortunately the burden of knowing the facts on the ground and knowing what is possible and what is not possible. foreign policy is complicated. there are multiple layers in the middle east right now. what the president needs to do and i do agree there are lots of
questions about what actually happened a few weeks ago in libya and egypt. he's got to handle that in the context of his presidency, not so much a campaign certainly during the foreign policy debate i think there'll be a robust conversation about different strategies. the other point i think the president can make and needs to make is what would the cost here at home be if we were to send ground forces into syria, invade iran. are we totally prepared for the loss of american life as well as the financial cost of those wars? we've got to bring that home to the american people. it's one thing to use the flowery rhetoric. but it's different talking about the impact at home. and i want to say congratulations to you, mr. newlywed. >> thank you so much. thank you. i really do appreciate that. our monday morning power panel. thank you. still on the agenda this hour, at the brink. 14 dead among them three americans after a suicide bomber hits a check point in
afghanistan. nbc's lester holt will join me on what the continued violence means for the ongoing war. first, you've seen had them in obama campaign adds targeting governor romney. now former workers from bain are stumping for the president ahead of wednesday's first debate. i'll speak to one of them next. as always join in our conversation. find us on twitter @thomas a. roberts. or get the yard ready for cool an energy weather?n to size? the answer? a lot less. the great american fix-up is going on now... ...with new projects every week and big savings every day. so you can do what needs to be done. today. more saving. more doing. that's the power of the home depot. right now, owens corning ecotouch attik insulation is only $11.87 a roll.
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look here. doing so in the crucial battle ground states of ohio, wisconsin, and florida. those workers also starting in a dr star rather in a new campaign web video. take a look. >> one day we had a job, next day we didn't. >> i understand if you got to cut back bb lay off. that's part of the business. we accepted that over the years while we were there. but you don't come in and just take everything everybody's got and destroy a business. that's what they did. >> randy johnson is also featured later in that obama campaign ad. he and two other workers, 200 other workers lost their jobs when bain shut down the american pad and paper company in indiana back in 1995. sir, it's good to have you here. as we say, you're in that ad. you're also going to be campaigning personally for the president this week. explain to all of us why after 17 years you lost your job 17 years ago because of bain. why do you feel so passionately about this now to insert
yourself in this presidential election like you are? >> well, i think the main reason is what i'd seen 17 years ago. i seen mitt romney doing the same exact campaigning when he was running for senate against ted kennedy mischaracterizing his business, his record. i think it's important for the american people to be informed and educated. so i continue to do this. he's caused this to happen by running for president. i wouldn't be out here today if it wasn't for him. you. >> you also spoke at the convention. people may recognize for from that. making money without a moral compass. do you really think that he lacks a moral compass. in america, capitalism is king. correct? so when coming down to a moral compass, do you think that it's basically about the almighty dollar and not so much about you the employee? >> i think it's definitely about the almighty dollar as you say it. but i think it's beyond that. i also said in the speech i didn't think he was necessarily a bad man.
i was talking only about his morals in business and the way he does business. the way he talks about how he created jobs. when bain capital never employed more than 400 people themselves. they invested in companies so they could walk away easily. he never had the chance to see the people or be involved at the level or in the business level. he sent out managing directors. >> the romney campaign just issued a statement to us saying that governor romney built bain capital by fixing broken companies and helping new ones grow. with unemployment still over 8%, america has a choice between four more years of president obama's failed economic agenda or governor romney's plan to create 12 million new american jobs. when you hear something like that and know that the bipartisan congressional budgetary office has already slated that over the next four years, 12 million jobs are going to be added to our economy, what does it say to you about what
the romney campaign wants to bring to an american economic platform? >> i think you bring up the point that all americans are looking for. the two different plans. we're having a hard time figuring out what mitt romney's plan really is. the real substance of it. how are you going to do it, tell us exactly. and that was always the problem with his business plan. we never got to see it as workers we couldn't tell if we could help him or hurt the company. you didn't know. he keeps everything in the dark. private equity you can't tell that. what i'm looking at is growing from the middle out. i think by doing that it goes back to one basic thing. taxation. and people don't like to talk about that. but a fair taxation and giving tax breaks to those who create jobs and businesses in this country will grow jobs faster than anything else. no one's talking about that. they're talking about how do we help the rich if you're romney or how do we put more tax on the rich.
well, if they're investing overseas, investing in offshore accounts, they shouldn't get tax breaks. they should get them for creating jobs and businesses in this country. and people would get off unemployment. >> i want to correct myself to make sure i said it correctly. the cbo is non-partisan. thank you, sir. i appreciate you joining us. >> thank you. one state marking the early voting with people catching zs outside election offices. we're looking at the goals of what's called sleep out the vote. and with poll after poll giving the advantage to team obama, we look at team romney's narrowing path to 270. and one of the critical states out west. bob, these projections... they're... optimistic. productivity up, costs down, time to market reduced... those are good things. upstairs, they will see fantasy. not fantasy... logistics. ups came in, analyzed our supply chain, inventory systems... ups? ups. not fantasy?
camping out overnight boards of elections offices in order to cast ohio's first ballots in this presidential election. early voting starts tomorrow in ohio along with new york and florida. that will bring the total number of states voting early or through absentee ballot to 35. democratic state senator of ohio started the nicinitiative and joining me now. president obama will be in as early voting begins. this comes as early voting has been underfire around the country. you describe this as sleep out the vote. explain to all of us how this is going to work. >> well, sleep out the vote is an initiative where we blanket the state, no pun intended, by sleeping out in front of the board of elections. so senator tavaris and brown in toledo and in youngstown. we sleep out in front of the board of elections.
it's kind of a party or festive atmosphere. it's a great deal of fun to highlight the importance of early voting. >> so as has been pointed out, mitt romney needs to take ohio if he wants to get to pennsylvania avenue. in 2008 1.7 million ballots were smimted. that's about 30% of the total numbers. what kind of numbers are you expecting this time around? >> it varies from city to city. in cincinnati where we've done it since 2008, we've had about -- oh, boy. we've had about 80 people sleep out overnight. then the next morning we had probably 200 people come out to vote in the morning. in columbus, it'll be a little bit different as there are about 200 ohio state university students who are going to be sleeping out overnight. toledo there are a lot of union workers. in cuyahoga county, there are
going to be a great deal of students and other activists who will be there. in youngstown a lot of workers and union workers will be there. so it's a different mix in each city. but we're anticipating that this enthusiasm that everybody is showing will infect other people, other voters. they'll get out and vote and know as you mentioned that 30% of the people vote early. that's very important that people have the opportunity to vote early. particularly in ohio where there is a lot of confusion about when to vote early and things like that. >> but there are absentee ballots people can get at home, correct? >> yes. you can vote absentee. you can come down to the board of elections. monday through friday in ohio up until november the 6th. which is the date of the election. >> just to point out right now, the new columbus dispatch poll showing obama at 45%, mitt
romney 42%. thanks for coming and taking time to talk with us. we appreciate it. >> thanks and congratulations and best wishes to you. >> thank you. i appreciate that. still ahead this hour, the supreme court's new term. could this be the year marriage equality goes front and center in front of the highest court? and ten years later, what the sole surviving d.c. sniper is saying about the attacks that trzed the nation's capital. s tie for swanson flavor boost. concentrated broth in easy to use packets. mix it into skillet dishes, for an instant dose of... hell-o! [ female announcer ] get recipes at flavorboost.com.
now underway at the nation's highest court. the panel of supremes back on the bench this morning for the first time since it's ruling on the universal health care law. their first order of business to ask the justice department to respond to a question from virginia that is challenging that law. meantime the new docket is stack stacked with same sex marriage, affirmative action, and changing to the voting rights act of
1965. pete williams is at the high court for the latest. pete, walk us through this case by case. what we expect from this time they are assembled. >> first of all, the defense of marriage act. this was signed by president clinton and for the purposes of federal law, marriage is only between a man and a woman. that enmoos federal government won't recognize same-sex marriages even in the states where that's legal. that's unusual because states usually define what is a valid marriage. several lower federal courts have said that's unconstitutional discrimination. and the supreme court will probably take this case. i say probably. it's not on the docket yet. but whenever the lower courts strike down an act of congress, the supreme court considers its job to step in and take this case. i think we would hear about that. probably the monday after thanksgiving. that's when we'll find out if they're going to take those cases. the other question is whether they will hear the challenge to california's proposition 8. that is also before the supreme
court. not clear whether they would hear that. they may take the cases and decide to punt on prop 8. >> if they do that, again, is that more in the thanksgiving timetable? >> probably. i would think we're not going to hear about any of these until late november. and that would mean they wouldn't be argued until next year. the other cases you mentioned, the question of affirmative action. almost every college and university in america that is at all selective in admissions uses some form of affirmative action. they want to achieve a racially diverse campus. because they want to believe that better qualifies or prepares students for the outside world. this case comes from the university of texas, a high school student that didn't get in. she's saying it was unconstitutional, she was denied her spot because texas does consider the race in rounding out the class. they basically take the top performers. they're guaranteed. they do look at race as one factor. the question is whether or not
the constitution allows them to do that. nine years ago the supreme court said yes. but now we have a new justice on the court. and the voting rights act. landmark legislation. in 1965 the question before the court and they haven't granted this one but seems likely they will, is this requirement that states they have a history of zprimgs before they make any changes at all. the states say this map is way out of date and the supreme court signalled three years ago it may agree with that criticism. >> we shall see how this term goes. pete williams. thank you, sir. i appreciate it. as president obama and mitt romney prepare for one of the most critical weeks of e the campaign, we want to take a look at our nbc news battle ground map. which shows president obama inching closer to the 270 electoral votes needed to win. mitt romney with a narrow path to victory. possibly needing to run on five key states. florida, virginia, wisconsin,
colorado, nevada. nevada is the backdrop for the president's debate camp. ann romney will campaign in that state today. and our latest maris poll shows the lead. john ralston hosts on ksnv. the president won nevada by 12 points back in '08. but that was a different time. it certainly has been hard hit by the economy. today republicans are distributing this briefing booklet on the president's housing policies. why is the president not enjoying the same kind of breakaway lead that we've seen in ohio? is it strictly the economy? >> yeah, thomas. it's the economy. here in nevada i think we have arguably the worst economy if the nation. highest unemployment up over 12%. we have the housing crisis you mentioned. president obama has been able to come to this state and talk
about housing a little bit. he went to reno a few months back. talked about how one of his programs is helping a couple here. mitt romney has helped president obama by making some unfortunate comments about letting the foreclosure crisis, letting the market hit bottom. but you mentioned the briefing booklet buying comments that woodward reported made on early in the administration when he decided not to take an aggressive stance against housing problem. the housing problem here in nevada is why the economy -- it's stalling the economy in any comeback here. >> nbc wall street journal poll shows nevada's vote irs are undecided. but here's the president talking about this debate this weekend while in nevada. take a look. >> you may have heard that in a few days my opponent in this election and i are going to have a debate. i know folks in the media are speculating already on who's going to have the best zingers.
i don't know about that. . >> all about the best zingers there. how huge a wednesday night's debate going to be in persuading those voters one way or the other? this is the first time we'll see these men on the same stage sharing the same oxygen? >> you mentioned a small number of undecided voters here, thomas. that's true generally across the country. the question is how many people are really undecided? how many people are soft either way? mitt romney's going to gain just by being up on the stage with the president of the united states. mitt romney did well in some of the debates in the primary. not so well in others. you see both campaigns now trying to lower expectations with the president saying he's not that great a debater and mitt romney is very good. but it's clearly, it's out there in the conventional wisdom that mitt romney has to do well to turn around that battle ground map that you just pointed out. how he's doing in the swing states. he has never been ahead.
mitt romney has never been ahead in any public poll in nevada. that's ominous for him in this state i think. >> let's take a look at this. i need to talk toy about the las vegas review journal out with its unofficial fund coffee vote which has correctly predicted since 2000 and has obama leading 49 to 45. what is your prediction? >> well, i think obama is up by four, five, maybe six points. the democrats are very confident right now. trying to protect the results this far out is a little bit difficult. you mentioned the 12 point lead -- the 12 point victory in 2008. the democrats have done remarkably well here in voter registration this year. they have doubled the lead that they had at the beginning of the year. they have a real machine that helped save harry reid in 2010. everyone knows about that. i think the republicans have something to worry about here in nevada with that voter registration machine. the republicans obviously have a better team on the ground than in 2010.
that's a low bar to get over. but i think they still have their work cut out. they're behind now by 6% statewide in voter registration. more than a hundred thousand voters in democratic clark county. that is very difficult to overcome when you're going to have an 80% turnout and a lot of partisan voting by the partisans. >> john, great to see you this morning. thank you. >> thanks, thomas. here's a look at some of the stories topping the news right now for you. police in florida still haven't released the names of two people killing in a shooting at the vfw post just outside of orlando. a charity motorcycle ride was about to kick off when a gunman opened fire on the riders who were sitting down to breakfast. the third person was critically injured. ten years after one of the killing sprees in history, lee boyd malvo is expressing regret for the crimes. he said, quote, i was a monster.
27 people you may recall were killed in the nearly month-long shooting spree. malvo is now 27 years old and serving a life sentence. the boy scouts will begin bringing suspected sex abusers named in the organization's so-called perversion files to the attention of law enforcement. the scouts have come under fire recently for failing to report cases of alleged abuse dating back decades. these disclosures could mean a new round of prosecutions for offenders that had not been previously charged for those crimes. california has become the first state to ban controversial therapy aimed at turning gay teens straight. under a new law so-called conversion therapy will be banned for anyone under 18. california governor jerry brown issued a statement saying the therapies have quote, no basis in science or medicine. a devastating new attack in afghanistan to talk about today. a suicide bomber killed 14
people including three american soldiers in the volatile eastern province of khost. it comes a day after the death toll in the 11-year-old war in afghanistan reached 2,000. but that number does not include the number of americans injured in afghanistan and who died when they were transferred elsewhere. which would then raise the total to over 2100. nbc news has special coverage today across the middle east. lester holt joins us live now at the afghan capital of kabul. that number 2,000 representing only americans who died in afghanistan not those who were injured in the country. but didn't die until they were transported wrels. that's a big distinction. this is a major marker to reach now with the number of casualties. >> it is. and we've been talking about a number over 2100 for some time. 2,000 representing those who died here. but remember the aeromedical
system is such a soldier could be wounded on the battlefield and quickly taken out of country. we lost others for treatment. >> when we talk about the fact of what we saw over the weekend, the latest in this attack over the weekend that left an american soldier and an american contractor dead, what else do we know about the attack and who is responsible for this? >> well, let me tell you, we've had two attacks. you mentioned the one in khost. that involved a joint patrol of u.s. soldiers along with afghan police. we are seeing this more and more as the u.s. tries to transfer security over to the afghans. in this case they were approached by a suicide bomber who detonated himself killing the three u.s. service members, several police officers, and wounding many civilians here. this is part of a pattern the taliban has been promising more spectacular attacks. regarding the weekend, another insider attack where an afghan
soldier turned his gun on americans killing an american soldier and an american contractor, u.s. forces fired back at their afghan counterparts and there were some afghans killed. this, of course, putting more pressure on this notion of trust and quickly -- and how quickly this transfer of power can occur to the afghans. >> lester holt reporting in kabul for us. thank you. and as new information about the killings in libya, the foreign policy is now in question. former assistant secretary at the state department p.j. crowley joins wagner on next. coming your way in less than 19 minutes. babies. the very new stars of republican attack ads. why the gop is using bouncing bundles of joy. and still right here to come up, the worst thing arnold has ever done. schwarzenegger breaking his
silence about his marriage, the affairs, and the new tell-all book where he talks all about it. if you have thoughts about today's stories, join our conversation we hold on facebook. we're back after this. i'm bara ck o bama and i approve i'm bara this message. ck o romney: "it's time to stand up to the cheaters" vo: tough on china? not mitt romney. when a flood of chinese tires threatened a thousand american jobs... it was president obama who stood up to china and protected american workers. mitt romney attacked obama's decision... said standing up to china was "bad for the nation and our workers." how can mitt romney take on the cheaters... when he's taking their side? open enrollment is here. the time to choose your medicare coverage begins october 15th and ends december 7th. so call to enroll in a plan that could give you the benefits and stability you're looking for,
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we all perk up when we see kids being featured in political ads talking about their futures. are they going to be effective in wooing women to pay attention to what the message is? >> you know, it's such an obvious ploy. and i think playing the baby card has been done and done and done. and i think unfortunately in this case, what's happening is that women see through it. you know, in advertising we say oops, your strategy is showing. and i think to be so blatantly so trying to pander with little feet to moms, i think it runs the risk of backfiring. and potentially being late night fodder for jokes. >> here's another -- i just want to show everybody another example. this is another ad from the romney campaign. >> dear daughter, welcome to america. your share of obama's debt is over $50,000. and it grows every day. obama's policies are making it harder on women. >> so what are the risks you notice with these types of ads?
and to be fair, president obama's team has done this, too, with the dnc putting out their this is julia campaign where they showed a young woman all the way to being elderly and health care through her life. talking about the life span of people. what are the risks? >> you know, the risk is that it becomes so smarmy that you don't take it seriously. and i think this is what we found in this ad particularly if the execution of this ad. the voiceover didn't even sound real. the scene didn't feel that real. so i don't think even when i read through blogs people commenting about the ads, they just didn't feel --down, it didn't ring true to them. they felt they were being sold something. i think you run a big risk doing that. >> linda, great to have you on this morning. thanks for your time. >> thank you. so it is another debate slug fest in massachusetts. time now for the poly side bar. scott brown and elizabeth warren
will face off in their second debate of the senate race nap happens tonight. a boston globe poll puts warren four points ahead. in his first interview since the affair, the cost of his marriage, arnold schwarzenegger admitted to more affairs. including one with actress bridgette nielsen. telling 60 minutes his infid infidelity caused terrible pain to maria and their entire family. >> the thing that really meant the most to me kind of fell apart because of my doing. that is something that i will always look back and say how could you have done that. >> schwarzenegger's autobiography comes out today. assault charges have been dropped against the aide accused of roughing up lohan. reportedly pulled a fire alarm during an argument over cell phone photos of the actress. both have filed harassment complaints against each other. i have a cold... i took dayquil,
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. welcome back, everybody. want to get you up to speed on what we're watching on the markets today. green arrows across the board, dow jones up 150 points nearly a boost from positive economic news today. wall street is cheering the surprise expansion in the manufacturing sector and better than expected factory output data from china and the eurozone. green arrows across the board as we spoke, did break 150 up to 152. there is this powerful new film in theaters that chronicles one of the most successful and civil activist movements in the past 30 years, "how to survive a plague" and documents the foundation and evolution of the group act up. it was a militant organization of young people whose goals were to keep the aids epidemic for becoming a death sentence nor millions of americans and others around the globe. here's a brief clip of one of those protests.
>> we are not asking the fda to release dangerous drugs without safety orrerfy kasy. we are simply asking the fda to do it quicker. >> where are you going today? >> we don't know where they're taking us. we're here because this government has the resources to deal with the aids epidemic and they won't do it unless we force them. spa. >> my next guest behind the film, joins me to talk about this. great to have you here as we remind everybody it was back in the late 1980s that's when act up was founded. the prognosis, though, for someone diagnosed with aids, was roughly about 18 months. >> 18 months. >> there was great urgency in what these groups were trying to do. this was just to get basic information about what was going on with them. as we watch this, was that really -- everybody knew that. they knew the heightened sense of the fact we don't have six months for answers. we have a very short window. >> they knew it because they were watching their friends die so quickly.
and by 1987, six years into the epidem epidemic, there still wasn't a single pill to take to combat any of it. so the idea that there was even a kernel of hope was something that needed to be kindled at that time. the film opens up right then in '87 which is daunt of aids treatment activists and the idea that patients themselves would have to take into their own hands real fundamental elements of the science and try to bring the entire medical establishment into the future in a way to combat the epidemic. >> looking at these videos that were shot by members of act up, you know, on big old camcorders and things like that, an amazing amount of material to work with to put this tapestry, this narrative together. but as we reflect on that time period, act up was scene as very radical? >> it was. >> certainly petulant and ob sti nant to the information that they were getting. >> right. >> is this best chronicle that?
>> the film, what i wanted to do with the film, is to bring the viewer back to that time and when you go back to that time now with the benefit of this 15, 16-year advantage from then, you really see that they -- what they were accomplishing and it's true that the headline writers, the editorial writers, the public in general, dismissed a lot of what they were doing as being just a trouble making, just, you know, a protest movement with no center to it. and what really happened and what's chronicled in "how to survive a plague" is the radical transformation of the health care system in america to make it nimble, to make it modern, to make it so that it could possibly respond to something as urgent as a burgeoning epidemic. >> the movement worked. hts "how to survive a plague" is in theaters now. i've seen it. you're cheering for people in it, some who make it and some
who don't. i appreciate it. >> thank you so much. >> that's going to wrap things up for me. i'll see you for more on the debate countdown as we walk our way to wednesday tomorrow at 11:00. follow me on twitte twitter @thomasroberts. >> hey, thomas. we are studying up for the great debate. while president obama and governor romney hunker down to prep for wednesday's big night, the candidates lower expectations by heaping praise on each other. we will entertain campaign bizarre world. money boo boo, details on the latest cash dash and the new ad that puts lbj's daisy to shame. and mike check on jfk. we'll listen to newly released audiotapes that show kennedy's real views on the civil rights movement, cuban missile crisis and george romney. all of that when "now" starts in a mere 180 seconds. want to try to crack it? yeah, that's the way to do it! now we need a little bit more... a little bit more vanilla?
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